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01 December 2017, 06:06 | Sherry Padilla
The White House has come up with a plan for President Trump to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the New York Times reported Thursday
After months of clashes on policy and personality, President Donald Trump is considering ousting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with hard-nosed CIA Director Mike Pompeo following less than a year on the job, senior US officials said Thursday as turmoil within Trump's national security team burst into the open.
Mr. Trump on Thursday refused to answer questions about a White House plan to replace Tillerson after less than a year on the job. Bob Corker (R-TN), that Trump has been damaging Tillerson's efforts and undercutting him at seemingly every opportunity.
After a report last month that Tillerson had called the president a "moron", Tillerson was forced to appear before cameras at the State Department to pledge fealty his boss.
But he still would suffer from problems that have afflicted Tillerson, chief among them a boss who has shown little regard for diplomacy and no qualms about undermining his secretary of state with tweets, current and former USA officials said.
"This is a hellish environment for a secretary of state", said one State Department official on condition of anonymity.
"There are no personnel announcements at this time", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later said in a statement that left Tillerson twisting in the wind.
Tillerson's likely ouster loomed awkwardly over an Oval Office meeting Thursday between Trump and the visiting Bahraini crown prince.
It was not immediately clear whether Trump had given final approval to the reshuffle, but one of the officials said the president asked for the plan to be put together. "And I can tell you who is going to win".
Observers across the political and foreign policy spectrum tend to view Tillerson as a failure at the State Department.
Mr. Trump has been publicly frustrated with his top diplomat.
If carried out, the staff changes would be the latest in a string of firings or resignations in the Trump administration including the departures of the chief of staff, national security adviser and Federal Bureau of Investigation director. The senator has advised Trump on issues like the Iran nuclear deal and immigration.
The story originated in the New York Times, and officials are saying that it actually got there directly from the White House, as a way of White House officials "sending a message" to Tillerson.
Tensions have also run high between Tillerson and veteran diplomats who oppose his proposed staff and budget cuts.
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